A Fight to Express

No matter what everyone says, the people of today have a strong claim at being the luckiest generation ever witnessed in the human history. With all the tools at our disposal, we are enjoying a sense of control and convenience that was hard to even conceive just a few years ago. If you are not aware of it already, a larger part of it is influenced by the onset of technology. By bringing all sorts of luxuries to our environment, technology has established itself as a trusted ally that we now need at almost every point of our routinely life. This fact might stir up concerns of dependency amongst the critics; nonetheless, no argument has proven to be stronger than the utility of such a creation. The whole scenario looks simple enough, except it’s not. With the influx of tech products we are clocking today, we have literally marched into governing bodies’ field of vision, and they seemingly don’t have any plans to let go soon. Instead, these governing bodies are scaling up to match the intelligence of technology. The move looked somewhat showy at the beginning, but looking at how things have been shaping up as of late, you can assume that these governing bodies are serious about bringing a defined extent of regulation to the tech world. Now, it’s not such a bad idea from a general standpoint, but certain isolated situations convey that external interventions in the tech sphere can sometimes also lead to complications. An example of it is clearly visible in social media companies’ joint-lawsuit against the state of Texas.

Technology trade groups, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) have officially launched a full-blown lawsuit in an attempt to stop Texas from implementing HB 20 rule. Brought in by Trump administration, the rule was designed to stop social media platforms from banning users or removing content over the expression of political views. If fully implemented, any violation of this law would put the user in a position where they’ll be able to sue the platform.

The trade associations, however, have argued that such a law defies companies’ First Amendments right to choose what speech they want to host.

“At a minimum, HB 20 would unconstitutionally require platforms like YouTube and Facebook to disseminate, for example, pro-Nazi speech, terrorist propaganda, foreign government disinformation, and medical misinformation,” the trade associations mentioned in their compliant.

Another concern raised by large social media platforms is that the new rule, in the name of transparency, asks them to “document in excruciating detail how they exercise their editorial discretion over potentially billions of pieces of content.” According to their stance, a mandate like this all but infringes their right to free expression.

The lawsuit against Texas comes two weeks after Governor, Greg Abbott signed the bill. However, the trade associations are hopeful that they’ll be able to emulate what they did to get the same rule blocked in Florida.

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